Masters of Rome (Vespasian) Hardcover – 7 Aug 2014
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About the Author
Robert Fabbri read Drama and Theatre at London University and has worked in film and TV for 25 years. He is an assistant director and has worked on productions such as Hornblower, Hellraiser, Patriot Games and Billy Elliot. His life-long passion for ancient history inspired him to write the Vespasian series. He lives in London and Berlin.
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Top Customer Reviews
Rome, though, is no safer a place. These are the days of Claudius, an emperor only slightly less mad than the man who preceded him and the one who is to follow. The dribbling fool is in the thrall of his captivating wife, Messalina, a woman notorious to all (but her husband) for her voracious sexual appetites. Rome is ruled in all but name by Claudius's three freedmen but even they cannot compete with the reach of the empress. A plan is hatched, Vespasian is caught in the middle. Having proven himself in the field, Vespasian must now use every political skill he can muster to bring down Messalina while all the time securing his family - and his wealth - for the future that has been prophesied.
Masters of Rome is the fifth novel in Robert Fabbri's superb series chronicling the life and career of Vespasian, a man who against all odds survived Rome's most infamous emperors only to ascend - somehow, miraculously - to the purple himself.Read more ›
One reason for being slightly disappointed is a certain lack of originality for which the author cannot really be blamed, given his choice of topics. Essentially this episode and its author come after similar books from Manda Scott and Simon Scarrow so there is a sense of “dejà vu” that creeps up, with similar stories about the Romans fighting in Britain, and having a rather hard time of it, and the intrigues and plots in Rome.
I was interested by the mystique pieces about the druids although I could not help feeling that the author had somewhat caricatured them into murderous “arch-villains”. I also felt that the ways in which some of their gods were depicted as lesser demons that were servants of the Son of the Morning (I will not give his other name to avoid spoilers) was not quite convincing. The author does make an interesting use of the legend of Joseph of Arithmatea, which in fact goes back to the 12th century, is not part of the Scriptures and according to which he took refuge in Britain, together with the Grail, and with some other very “special” refugees, which I will also not name to avoid spoilers.
To be fair, however, the rather ghastly picture of the Druids could be explained not only by the author’s creative license but also because of his Roman viewpoint, since his hero is Vespasian. Precious little is really known about the druids, and most of it is either through unflattering and presumably biased Roman written sources or through archaeology.Read more ›
The second part of the book sees Vespasian back in Rome, and heavily involved in the machinations of the Emperor's three powerful freedmen, and their battle to remove Messalina, the Empress. I still baulk at the depiction of Claudius in all current novels as a bumbling idiot, but it seems I am alone in this, so I will complain no more!
Overall, this is a worthy addition to the series. Although you know the outcome of the major historical events, the author does a good job of weaving them around Vespasian's story, and it is interesting to work out which of his actions are 'real' and which are part of the fiction. I think the author does well to make the two seamless. I shall be looking forward to the next episode.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A truely fantastic read away to start the next book immediately what a fantastic series of novels about Rome's workingsPublished 15 days ago by William Burt
page of boring battle scenes and that was only the first chapter..can only get better, I hope . Was not allowed by Amazon to fully describe how boring this chapter was so try for... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Very poor to much blood and gore I know there were excessives but I in no way l be leave that's more accurate biscription of what it was llike the way of describing life is well... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Groanus